Health

Government Called Tor Implement Insurance Framework to Enable Cochlear Implants

Six weeks after birth, a child should be able to pay attention and get alert whenever they hear any sound.

At 9 months, a child should try to echo the sound, at one year a child should say a word and at the age of 3 years a child must be able to put together and speak at least 3 words.

This is according to Dr. Fiona Kamya the Managing Director Kampala Audiology and speech center (KASC).

If a person grows beyond 10 years before they speak or hear, they could stay with the impairment for the rest of their lives.

However, it’s possible that babies born with hearing impairment can have Cochlear implants to enable them hear.

Cochlear implant is a surgically implanted Neuro prosthetic device that provides a sense of sound to a person with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss.

It is on the above facts that Medical practitioners from International Hospital Kampala (IHK), Kampala Audiology and speech center (KASC) and MEDEL have called on Government to continue and implement the insurance framework so that local people can afford these implants.

The exercise entails implanting an electron in the inner ear of someone who is born deaf.

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“It is a privilege to see that Cochlear implants can be done in Uganda. It is a high end of technology rehabilitation of hearing impairment,” said Fiona

She also called on Government to subsidize implants and create awareness especially in rural areas where parents discover late their children could have developed the impairment.

Some of the causes of deaf according to Dr Kamya include infections like Rubella, measles and lamps in pregnant mothers.

“When a woman contracts these diseases while pregnant, the baby may not speak after birth,” she added

Other causes include poor feeding of pregnant women, constraints and spending a lot of time in labor among others.

Speaking to the press at IHK in Kampala, Mr. Kenneth Kataryeba the General Manager Kampala Audiology and speech center (KASC) said that these implants can now be done in Uganda but many people cannot afford the cost without insurance.

KASC, IHK and MEDEL have championed Cochlear implants in Uganda intended to provide sound detection and auditory perception for pre or post lingual Children who do not obtain functional benefit from conventional listening assistive devices.

The latest successful round of Cochlear implant surgeries was recently perfomed by a team of local and foreign surgeons.

“The exercise was to enable local surgeons to acquire knowledge so that in future these surgeries can be done in Uganda by Ugandan surgeons without the support of external surgeons,” said Kataryeba

Profound deafness in Childhood affects the development of audition speech perception, speech Production and consequently language skills. Failure to develop adquate oral communication skills can have a significant negative impact on education and employment opportunities for both Children and adults.

Dr. Michael Oling, Director Medical services at IHK said the Namuwongo based hospital looks forward to sponsoring 2 Children for Cochlear implants.

It is believed that a few people who can afford to raise and meet prohibitive costs of travel, accommodation and meals abroad, go to India, United States of America (USA), Europe and Canada where these surgeries are mainly perfomed.

However according to Dr. Oling, the Ugandan people should be treated in Uganda.

Oling also called on Government to intervene and render support because as Medical practitioners they face various challenges especially limited resources in technology.

“With the help of Government, these implants will be conducted routinely,” Oling added

Mohammed El Disouky, the Africa development and Regional manager of an Australian Cochlear implants manufacturer MEDEL said that Government support is very key.

“We need support from Government because it’s very difficult for someone born deaf to hear in further,” he added

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